Bay Area Seen As Frontrunner For Super Bowl L As NFL Set To Name '16, '17 Host Sites
NFL owners today will vote on the host sites for Super Bowls L and LI in '16 and '17, and it is “widely believed, even in Miami, that many owners already have sided with the Bay Area” for the '16 game after Florida’s legislature “failed to approve a ballot measure aimed at renovating” Sun Life Stadium, according to Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. This is despite South Florida leaders announcing on Friday that they had raised $36.5M to aid their bid, "nearly twice as much as previously thought and more than" the $30M raised in the Bay Area. The Bay Area Super Bowl delegation, including Bay Area Super Bowl Bid Committee Chair Daniel Lurie, S.F. Travel Association President & CEO Joe D’Alessandro, Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce President Steve Van Dorn and former MLB Giants President Pat Gallagher, was set to "spend most of Monday practicing in their own NFL-provided ‘war room.’” The group's presentation today will be "followed by a five-minute pitch” from 49ers CEO Jed York. The South Florida committee also will “get its 20 minutes, as will Houston, which at the same meeting will compete with the losing region to host” Super Bowl LI (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/18). In N.Y., Judy Battista noted the South Florida bid had been “until a few weeks ago the favorite” to land Super Bowl L. But the NFL has “gotten in the habit of awarding its championship game to teams with new stadiums" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/20). Lurie said of the issues surrounding the South Florida bid, "We know about them, and it has not affected us one bit. In fact, we feel like we just put our foot on the gas even harder. We are absolutely taking nothing for granted" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 5/20).
GO BAYSIDE: NFL.com's Albert Breer cited a source as saying that the Bay Area committee "will highlight the concept of bringing the big game back to California, where the first Super Bowl was held, after a drought of what will be 13 years." The group also will "position the new technologically advanced facility" as a "beacon of where the league is headed over the next 50 years" (NFL.com, 5/19). In S.F., John Cote in a front-page piece reports the Bay Area's proposal includes "adding at least 1,500 temporary seats to Levi's Stadium and covering all game-day staff costs" up to $2M. NFL owners "would be provided with free golf at Pebble Beach, a dinner cooked by French Laundry chef Thomas Keller and free use of Google's driverless cars." Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara "would host the annual media day" prior to the Super Bowl. Much of the activity beyond that "would be focused on" S.F., where a "free, public, two-weekend Super Bowl Village would be created in an area stretching from the Ferry Building to Union Square and include Moscone Center." Organizers said that Market Street would be "a central component, and several blocks might be closed to traffic on weekends for events similar to the city's Sunday Streets program." The area also may be "expanded to include the Embarcadero from the Ferry Building to Fisherman's Wharf." The Moscone Center "would house the NFL Experience" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/21). San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy said the 49ers being awarded Super Bowl L is a "lock" unless the NFL owners "have an unnatural attraction to flamingos, alligators and umbrella drinks." Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Barry Tompkins: "It's coming here, I don't think there's any question about that. But is it going to be a part of the rotation? That remains to be seen" ("Chronicle Live," CSN Bay Area, 5/20).
MIAMI'S VICE: In West Palm Beach, Hal Habib cites a source as saying that South Florida's bid committee "will have a few wrinkles to reveal" when Dolphins broadcaster Jimmy Cefalo "emcees the area's 15-minute presentation to owners" (PALM BEACH POST, 5/21). In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis reports the South Florida bid committee is "pinning hopes on the belief it is offering the ultimate experience leading up to the big game." Its proposal features an "expansive waterfront Super Bowl village in downtown Miami that includes a Navy aircraft carrier with a full-size football field that will be used for celebrity exhibition games." The "consensus is that the recent failure to obtain tax money to help fund an extensive overhaul of Sun Life Stadium cost South Florida the opportunity to host" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/21). But South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee Chair Rodney Barreto yesterday said, "I'm hoping for a Hail Mary. Our biggest issue now is: How are the owners going to respond to what happened in Tallahassee?" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/21). NFL Senior VP/Events Frank Supovitz said, "Perhaps 10 years ago it was enough for a city to meet all the bid specifications. Now it's a question of what enhancements can be made to a Super Bowl proposal that go beyond what the minimum bid specifications are." He added, "There's no question that South Florida is an incredible place to do Super Bowls. That's why it's been there 10 times before. But the competition has just gotten greater and greater. There are more and more places that want to do Super Bowls, and there are more and more places that can do Super Bowls" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 5/20).
SHE'S A LITTLE RUNWAY: In Houston, Dale Robertson noted Camden Property Trust Chair & CEO Richard Campo and NRG CEO David Crane will give Houston’s presentation today, and Crane said that he “will be speaking straight from the heart to the owners, and his story is a classic Houston tale.” Texans Owner Bob McNair “personally suggested a unique perk” for the owners’ families, giving them “access to a dedicated runway at Ellington Field for their private jets.” McNair “figured it would be a valuable enticement” after “having himself spent ‘five or six hours on the tarmac’ waiting for clearance to take off the day after previous Super Bowls.” McNair: “No other city I’m aware of has ever offered that.” McNair at the owners’ meeting will get “five minutes in private with his peers after Campo and Crane are finished to make a personal pitch on his city’s behalf” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/18).
N.Y.P.D. BLUE: In N.Y., Gary Myers wrote the “most important behind-the-scenes story" surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium is the "intense effort to safeguard the game and all its events from becoming a target of terrorism.” NFL Chief Security Officer Jeffrey Miller said, “The attack on the Boston Marathon was a bit of [a] game changer in my mind in the sense that it subjects American society to more of what other countries and other populaces around the world are facing. It makes that threat real.” Myers noted the NFL “will have the assistance of federal authorities, the NYPD and the New Jersey State Police.” In all, “about 50-75 federal, state and local agencies are involved to provide fans with as safe an environment as possible” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/20).